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Editorial: Attacks even affected federal criminal proceedings

Thursday, December 13, 2001

The sudden shift of thousands of federal agents to the terrorism investigation has come at the expense of traditional crimefighting against drugs, bank robberies, illegal immigration and white-collar crime, an analysis conducted for The Associated Press showed.

The new Justice Department data, obtained by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse program, showed the FBI recommended 263 criminal cases to U.S. attorneys for prosecution between Sept. 12 and Sept. 30, compared with more than 1,400 referrals in the same period in each of the past two years. The terrorism attacks occurred on Sept. 11.

The fact that the government put other criminal cases on the back burner -- properly, we blieve -- to respond to the urgency of the terrorist attacks is just one more example of how devastating those attacks were on America.


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